"No health checks in Sheffield" - claim

Diabetes
The charity Diabetes UK carried out the study Photo: Calendar

Not one person in Sheffield was given an NHS health check during the last financial year, according to a new report by the charity Diabetes UK. The formal checks, which were introduced across the country in 2008, test people aged 40 to 74 for risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.

But NHS Sheffield, the decision-making body for health care in the city, says it chose not to prioritise funding for the checks because it already had "a widely established programme of cardiovascular risk stratification" and did not want to pay again for work already being carried out.

However, Diabetes UK has warned that the failure to implement the NHS health check means people in Sheffield who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes are missing the chance to get the information and support they need to help prevent the condition.

People in Sheffield have a right to be angry about the failure of the local NHS to introduce a programme of testing that could help people live longer and healthier lives."

– Linda Wood, Diabetes UK

The report from Diabetes UK, called Let's Get it Right, shows that Sheffield is one of only three areas in England not to give any of the checks. It also claims the East Riding of Yorkshire is one of the worst performing areas as well.

In a report earlier this year, NHS Sheffield said it planned to introduce the checks from June 2012. It is estimated that 154,000 40 to 70 year-olds in the city would be eligible for the checks.

The Department of Health estimates that the checks in the city's population would lead to

  • 2,000 people taking up a weight loss programme.
  • 1,000 additional prescriptions for statins.
  • 200 new diagnoses of diabetes.
  • 700 additional anti-hypertensive prescriptions.
  • 6,500 people taking up a brief exercise intervention.
  • 500 people being referred to stop smoking services.